We all know there is plenty of money in sport. Teams from various different sports have been raking in the money in recent years, but last year was something else.
?Forbes’ latest rankings of the world’s most valuable sports teams revealed that the cutoff to make in into the top 50 is now up $125m from last year and a whopping $1.2bn from just five years ago. Clearly, sports around the world are on the rise.
Here are the 50 most valuable sports teams in the world from last year.
50. New Orleans Saints – $2.08bn
The New Orleans Saints stormed to the NFL playoffs last season, beating defending Super Bowl champions the Philadelphia Eagles en route to the Championship game, where a controversial non-call against the Los Angeles Rams ended their hopes of a return to the Super Bowl.
49. Jacksonville Jaguars – $2.08bn
After a disappointing 2018 NFL season, the Jacksonville Jaguars will be hoping to enjoy plenty of success in the coming years after selecting linebacker Josh Allen with the seventh pick in the 2019 NFL draft.
48. Kansas City Chiefs – $2.1bn
With MVP Patrick Mahomes as their new starting quarterback, the Kansas City Chiefs hosted their first ever AFC Championship game in January 2019, but a defeat to the New England Patriots ended their hopes of reaching the Super Bowl.
47. St Louis Cardinals – $2.1bn
Under the ownership of DeWitt Jr, the St Louis Cardinals have enjoyed an astronomical rise. Sporting their famous ‘Victory Blue’ once more, the MLB team find themselves battling towards the top of the NL Central division.
46. Arizona Cardinals – $2.15bn?
?The re-branding of the State Farm Stadium helped the Arizona Cardinals retain their place amongst the world’s elite, and selecting quarterback Kyler Murray with the first pick in the 2019 NFL draft will certainly help them bounce back from a disappointing season.
45. Liverpool – $2.18bn
?Liverpool’s run to the ?Champions League final in the 2017/18 season saw their value skyrocket, even though they fell to ?Real Madrid in the final.
Having recruited the likes of Virgil van Dijk and ?Mohamed Salah, the Reds re-established themselves as one of Europe’s strongest sides – something which has only continued in recent times.
Off the pitch, they signed a number of new sponsorship deals which saw their revenue soar through the roof, whilst their pre-tax profit of ?$162m was the highest the world has ever seen.
44. Los Angeles Clippers – $2.2bn
Los Angeles is one of the most lucrative markets for NBA sides, so it should come as no surprise to see the Los Angeles Clippers here. Their value will likely fly even higher ?after their blockbuster signings of both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
43. Dallas Mavericks – $2.25bn
After a brief period of disappointing results, the Dallas Mavericks managed to transform their fortunes by drafting Slovenian sensational Luka Doncic, and Kristaps Porzingis’ new max contract will help their value rise even higher.
42. Arsenal – $2.27bn
?Arsenal are one of the biggest football teams in Europe, and their overall value of $2.27bn certainly reflects that.
Having signed a historic sponsorship deal with airline Emirates which was worth around $280m, the Gunners enjoyed a slight increase in value last year.
However, missing out on Champions League qualification for the upcoming season will certainly prove detrimental to their standing on this list.
41. Los Angeles Chargers – $2.28bn
Having relocated the team from San Diego back to Los Angeles?, the Chargers endured a challenging beginning to life in LA, but they still managed to retain the vast majority of their wealth.
40. New York Mets – $2.3bn
The franchise-record 11-1 start to the 2018 season was an incredible moment for the New York Mets, and their long-term deal with New Balance certainly helped boost spirits around the MLB franchise.
39. Carolina Panthers – $2.3bn
David Tepper’s record purchase of the Carolina Panthers for $2.3bn helped their value increase last year, and supporters will be eager to see their side improve on last season’s frustrating performances.?
38. Houston Rockets – $2.3bn
The Houston Rockets have established themselves as one of the NBA’s finest, and their run to the Western Conference finals only cemented their place as one of the sport’s most successful franchises.?
37. Brooklyn Nets – $2.35bn
The city of New York lives and breathes basketball, so the Brooklyn Nets remain one of the most desirable markets in the NBA. Their additions of both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in free agency will likely see their worth skyrocket in the coming years.?
36. Indianapolis Colts – $2.38bn
The Indianapolis Colts managed to reverse their fortunes and somehow qualify for the NFL playoffs but, after a victory over the Houston Texans, they then fell to the Kansas City Chiefs.
35. Minnesota Vikings – $2.4bn
The ‘Minneapolis Miracle’ will live long in the memory of Minnesota Vikings fans, who saw their team stun the New Orleans Saints with a last-second touchdown to earn their place in the NFC Championship game.
34. Oakland Raiders – $2.42bn
The bumper contracts of quarterback Derek Carr and head coach Jon Gruden see the Oakland Raiders retain their worth, even if results on the field have been underwhelming at times.
33. Miami Dolphins – $2.58bn
In their last season with head coach Adam Gase, the Miami Dolphins welcomed back quarterback Ryan Tannehill from injury, although it still was not enough to carry them to the NFL playoffs.
32. Chelsea – $2.58bn
Under the ownership of Roman Abramovich, ?Chelsea have transformed into one of the biggest – and most valuable – football sides in Europe.
The lucrative sales of ?Diego Costa, ?Nemanja Matic and ?Nathan Ake are just three examples of their incredible sales in recent years, whilst they have continued that trend with ?Eden Hazard’s blockbuster switch to ?Real Madrid this summer.
It was also the first year of Chelsea’s record-breaking £900m sponsorship deal with Nike, who took control of the club’s kit manufacturing duties until at least 2033.
31. Seattle Seahawks – £2.58bn
Now without the original ‘Legion of Boom’ defensive line, the Seattle Seahawks have endured mixed fortunes on the pitch. Their second-placed finish in the NFC West division earned them a place in the NFL playoffs, where they fell to the Dallas Cowboys.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers – $2.59bn
Opting to replace Papa John’s with Pizza Hut as primary sponsors, the Pittsburgh Steelers saw their value rise significantly last year, even if they were desperately unlucky to miss out on the NFL playoffs.
29. Baltimore Ravens – $2.59bn
As the most valuable NFL franchise in the AFC North division, the Baltimore Ravens recently moved on from quarterback Joe Flacco in favour of young Lamar Jackson, which saw them battle through to the playoffs.
28. Atlanta Falcons – $2.6bn
From a financial standpoint, the Atlanta Falcons have been a complete revelation. Their decision to cut costs of concessions ultimately led to fans spending more to celebrate, whilst a sizeable investment in the ?Mercedes-Benz Stadium has also boosted their overall value.
27. Green Bay Packers – $2.63bn
After renovating Lambeau Field, the Green Bay Packers adding plenty of new sponsorship deals, with partnerships with Ariens and Kwik Trip helping the team through a period of frustrating results on the field.?
26. Denver Broncos – $2.65bn
With the Denver Broncos acquiring part of John Bowlen’s share in the team, they have retained 100% of the shares in the franchise, with the hope of eventually passing control down to one of the late Pat Bowlen’s children.
25. Manchester City – $2.69bn
?Manchester City have enjoyed a huge financial rise under the ownership of Sheikh Mansour, and the results have been extraordinary.
With Pep Guardiola in the dugout, the Citizens lifted the ?Premier League title last year, generating a huge amount of income, whilst their run to the Champions League quarter-finals will certainly have helped.
A shirt-sleeve sponsorship deal with Nexus Tires was hugely beneficial to the team, whilst a recent $860m deal with Puma will certainly preserve their status as a financial powerhouse for years to come.?
24. Philadelphia Eagles – $2.75bn
The Philadelphia Eagles may have dropped a few places from previous standings, but their 2017 Super Bowl victory – coupled with the subsequent increase in ticket prices – ?led to a rise in revenue.
23. Boston Celtics – $2.8bn
The Boston Celtics have enjoyed a huge rise in popularity in recent seasons, seeing their ticket and TV interest soar through the roof. Delaware North’s $100m restoration of the TD Garden has also made the Celtics a more valuable franchise.?
22. Houston Texans – $2.8bn
Fan support is a large part of the Houston Texans’ success in recent years, with supporters piling into the NRG Stadium without fail in the past few seasons. A slight rise in ticket prices has not deterred fans, who are prepared to do what it takes to follow their team.?
21. New York Jets – $2.85bn
The New York Jets enjoyed a slight rise in annual income, which will certainly help them build for the future. Young quarterback Sam Darnell has shown plenty of promise, and the hope is that he will be able to guide the Jets back to success.?
20. Chicago Bears – $2.9bn
Replacing head coach John Fox with Matt Nagy was a signal of intent from the Chicago Bears?. The franchise went on to add a number of fresh faces, whilst a huge trade for linebacker Khalil Mack also helped the Bears move back in the right direction.
19. Chicago Bulls – $2.9bn
Despite results on the court leaving fans wanting more, the Chicago Bulls are still one of the most popular NBA franchises around. Their name carries a lot of weight amongst sponsors, and a recent deal with ?Zenni Optical is further proof of that.
18. San Francisco Giants – $3bn
The San Francisco Giants have been busy adding a number of huge sponsorship deals, including bumper agreements with Oracle and Fanatics which will help fund the franchise for years to come.?
17. Bayern Munich – $3.02bn
?Bayern Munich are far more than just a German powerhouse – they are an established European superpower.
Their constant ?Bundesliga success creates a huge stream of income for the team, whilst deep runs in the Champions League do the same.
Benefiting from a huge deal with kit manufacturer adidas, Bayern have been able to pursue some of the world’s most exciting talent in recent seasons, which will almost guarantee success for many years.?
16. San Francisco 49ers – $3.05bn
With plenty of huge contracts on their books, the San Francisco 49ers have established themselves as a hugely valuable franchise. ?Jimmy Garoppolo’s huge five-year, $137.5m deal shattered records at the time, making his ACL injury even harder for fans to take.
15. Chicago Cubs – $3.1bn
?Working alongside Sinclair Broadcast Group, the Chicago Cubs took control of Marquee Sports Network, which will soon hold the exclusive broadcasting rights for the team’s games.
14. Washington Redskins – $3.1bn
The Washington Redskins have endured a challenging few years, seeing their fan support dwindle amid uncertainty over a potential relocation. However, their bumper merchandise deal with Fanatics? will help them generate plenty of global support.
13. Los Angeles Rams – $3.2bn
With the Los Angeles Rams soon set to move into a new $2.6bn stadium, their revenue is expected to increase dramatically. The Rams also handed expensive contracts to wide receiver Brandin Cooks and defensive end Aaron Donald, in what looks to be an exciting period for the franchise.?
12. Boston Red Sox – $3.2bn
Enjoying a sizeable boost in revenue, the Boston Red Sox won their ninth World Series in 2018. Fenway Park generated a huge income through ticket sales to non-MLB events, whilst their deal with the New England Sports Network only added even more revenue.?
11. Los Angeles Dodgers – $3.3bn
Finally getting themselves out of the luxury tax threshold, the Los Angeles Dodgers opted to ship out a number of expensive contracts to bring their day-to-day costs down significantly.?
10. New York Giants – $3.3bn
An abysmal season saw the New York Giants head down the route of a drastic rebuild, bringing in a new general manager and head coach to try and steer the team back to the playoffs.
Plenty of faith has been put in young running back Saquon Barkley, and there is a real hope that Barkley – alongside the new management – will be able to restore the Giants to their former glory.
MetLife Stadium has helped by generating a huge income, and deals with the likes of Verizon and Toyota ensure the Giants empire continues to expand.?
9. Golden State Warriors – $3.5bn
They may have been overthrown by the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals, but the Golden State Warriors remain arguably the most terrifying superteam in sports history.
Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant (who is now with the Nets) brought unprecedented success to the Dubs on the court, but they have been just as dominant behind the scenes.
A huge $20m-a-year jersey deal with Rakuten is the largest in the NBA, whilst their new $1bn Chase Center stadium will keep the money pouring in.?
8. Los Angeles Lakers – $3.7bn
The recent Los Angeles Lakers may? not have been as successful as former iterations of the team, but their business is just as strong as ever.
Fans continue to follow the Lakers from all over the world, and their huge $150m-a-year income from radio and TV deals proves that they are still in demand.
Adding former MVP LeBron James to the roster only increased the interest in the Lakers, and the recent acquisitions of Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins will likely do the same.
7. New England Patriots – $3.8bn
As one of the most successful NFL teams in the recent era, the New England Patriots have gone from strength to strength.
The combination of head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady have helped the Patriots dominate the AFC East, and numerous Super Bowl victories have brought unprecedented wealth to the franchise.
That revenue helped the team’s owners, the Kraft family, open Patriot Place next to the Gillette Stadium, and the countless shops and restaurants have only generated even more income.
6. Manchester United – $3.81bn
Once the most valuable sports team in the world, ?Manchester United remain one of the biggest brands around.
However, they have fallen from second to sixth in this list, largely due to some underwhelming results on the pitch. The Red Devils failed to qualify for next season’s Champions League, which has seen their income drop significantly.
Nevertheless, their sizeable sponsorship deals with Chevrolet, adidas and Kohler have helped generate plenty of revenue, whilst their global popularity will almost guarantee their place as one of the world’s biggest teams for years to come.?
5. New York Knicks – $4bn
The NBA’s most valuable franchise, the New York Knicks? have enjoyed more success off the court than on it recently.
The Madison Square Garden Company have continued to generate an enormous revenue in recent seasons, and their $1bn restoration of Madison Square Garden certainly helped that.
Having missed out on blockbuster free agents this summer, the Knicks will certainly need to keep putting in work behind the scenes to retain their place as the league’s most valuable.
4. Barcelona – $4.02bn
?Barcelona have a huge number of supporters all over the world, and they have the results on the pitch to keep them amongst the world’s elite.
The Blaugrana actually made a loss of €37m last season, largely due to the mammoth costs of their squad, but the fact that they remain so high on this list speaks volumes of their commercial power.
They lifted the ?La Liga and Copa del Rey titles in the 2017/18 season, and their run to the Champions League quarter-finals also helped cover costs.
3. Real Madrid – $4.24bn
Now the world’s most valuable football team, ?Real Madrid’s sizeable boost in income can largely be attributed to their three consecutive Champions League titles between 2016 and 2018.
Away from the pitch, Los Blancos also agreed a bumper sponsorship deal with ?Providence Equity, and their huge $113m-a-year deal with kit manufacturer adidas also saw their value increase slightly last year.
Having spent so heavily this summer on the likes of Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic and Ferland Mendy, Real will certainly need to get themselves back amongst the trophies if they are to continue to fend off Barcelona and United.
2. New York Yankees – $4.6bn
What a year it was for the New York Yankees. Their 100-win season saw their average attendance increase massively, which is the highest posted by the Yankees since 2012.
As a result, this also saw their TV viewership numbers jump up. Last year, the number of fans who watched Yankees games on the YES Network, which they bought back from Walt Disney, was 57% higher than any other MLB franchise.
Falling to the Boston Red Sox in the ADLS was an underwhelming end to the season for the Yankees, and fans will certainly be expecting better post-season performances going forward.
1. Dallas Cowboys – $5bn
For the fourth year in a row, the Dallas Cowboys are the world’s most valuable sports team, with an incredible value of $5bn.
Owner Jerry Jones has been on a mission to grow the Cowboys’ revenue in recent years, striking huge sponsorship deals with the likes of ?WinStar Casino and Resort to add to their ever-growing portfolio of partners.
They posted a pre-tax income of $365m, which is the highest by any sports team worldwide, and Jones will certainly keep working to ensure the good times never come to an end for the Cowboys.